Ephemera - 6th May, 2018

Today I’ve got a bunch of short recommendations as I’ve been procrastinating compiling them for the last few weeks.

Reading

How referendums break democracies by Tim Harford

Tim Harford is an economics author who I keep returning to as a small dose of sanity in the chaotic political atmosphere of the last few years.

How to Write a Git Commit Message by Chris Beams

Sage advice for the coders among you. I revisited this article while rewriting the code quality guideline for the company I work for. Commits messages are a simple thing on the face of it, but doing them correctly can make a massive difference to communication in a development team.

What I Don’t Like About Capitalism (Part I) by Dave Rupert

Written from a tech workers perspective. I’m only partially on board with the thesis as I believe the denigration “low-quality goods and services” can be an overly simplified argument that ignores economic imbalances on a global scale, but I still think Dave make a generally good point in the article.

A Taxonomy of Technical Debt

This article is no fucking joke. I immediately forwarded it to the entire tech team at my office. The author has, in my opinion, nailed the nebulous concept that is technical debt.

An Engineer’s Bill of Rights (And Responsibilities) by Charity Majors

Not much to say on this other than give it a read if you’re a software engineer.

The latest trend for tech interviews: Days of unpaid homework

Oh man, this article hit me hard. I’m currently sitting on both sides of the fence of this “trend”, having experienced such requests in my current job search, while also giving out such assignments while trying to hire for my current company. I have to admit that I haven’t previously thought to hard on how requesting chunks of time from a job applicant can make the playing field uneven, and, after reading this article (and the Hacker News discussion around it) I’m definitely going to be working on changing our hiring process in my current job before I move on.

Estimation Is a Core Competency by Gina Trapani

Gina Trapani calls out the bullshit “estimation is impossible” argument that every dev has been guilty of making at some point in time (myself included).

The United States of Japan